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(no subject) [Sep. 16th, 2019|12:37 am]
The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’. The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

(— George Orwell. Politics and the English Language)

Nothing has changed since 1946 (well, almost nothing; some words have gone out of fashion, some countries too)
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(no subject) [Sep. 15th, 2019|10:39 pm]

I smiled at the sentence "some people take such language extraordinarily seriously" — only to be completely floored by the word "hearing" in the very last sentence. "After hearing Jeremy Corbyn in December muttering 'stupid woman' at Theresa May". Unless the writer was sitting next to Corbyn on the front bench at that moment (which she almost certainly wasn’t), she could not have heard him mutter anything. That’s the whole point — there is no audio record of what he muttered; there is only a video of his lips moving. And this by a columnist who regularly expounds on the meaning and history of words and phrases. Shocking!
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(no subject) [Sep. 15th, 2019|10:08 pm]
The cartoon from the cover of Spectator:

Ok, let me guess. Corbyn, Jo Swinson (red jacket), and Caroline Lucas (head in the distance, behind Corbyn’s shoulder) are easily recognizable. The corpulent figure next to Caroline Lucas might be Ian Blackford. I do not know who the woman in the white jacket with Merkelish jaw is (Anna Soubry?). And I am not sure what to make of the man with the headgear that looks teasingly familiar but which I can’t even place in any particular culture or historical period. Philip Hammond, perhaps?

P.S.: After some googling, the woman in white must be Nicola Sturgeon.
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(no subject) [Sep. 14th, 2019|07:48 pm]
From Jake Archibald’s talk on browser rendering performance, in 2013:

If you struggle to remember which versions of Internet Explorer are dicks, here’s an easy way to remember: it’s the versions less than or equal to eight.

(lauhter from the audience)

This is clever, and funny, and joyfully rebellious. Also, it’s something that would probably be impossible at a conference these days, what with all those code of conducts and twitter vigilantes.
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(no subject) [Sep. 14th, 2019|12:25 am]
After watching the first episode of The Boys — wow, this is so good! So raw and cynical! Kind of like Game of Thrones on a best day. So much better than the Umbrella Academy, which was mostly weird, or Deadpool, which only slightly overstepped the cliche.
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(no subject) [Sep. 13th, 2019|10:34 pm]
Another day, another retweet of someone’s lunacy:

"I would rather run proprietary software, because the president of free software foundation has a dissenting opinion on sex with an underage girl". How deranged is that?

The timeline in the last tweet is also interesting: it shows how, according to her perception, aggressive cancelling of the accused has become the norm.

P.S.: This one makes me go bananas:

"I blame a guy’s statements or jokes for my not being involved in open source. And I know others who say the same. Therefore, cancel the guy. Hurry up, I am waiting".

If that’s not some snowflake shit, I don’t know what is.
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(C)opied from Reddit [Sep. 12th, 2019|11:22 pm]

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(C)opied from Reddit [Sep. 12th, 2019|10:05 pm]
From post titled "Even Apple’s own devs know the biggest problem with autocorrect":

Took me way too long to get the joke.
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(no subject) [Sep. 12th, 2019|09:53 pm]
I wonder if anyone is bothered by how "noone"/"nobody" in these formulaic tweets stands in place of "everyone". There is some sort of grammatical tension here as the semantics of the pronoun struggles with the formula:

(example copied from the know-your-meme page; the actual tweets that I’ve been seeing with increasing frequency were different)

Martin Gardner gave it some thought in Annotated Alice, writing "Mathematicians, logicians, and some metaphysicians like to treat zero, the null class, and Nothing as if they were Something, and Carroll was no exception".
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(C)opied from Reddit [Sep. 11th, 2019|11:19 pm]
1) Image from thread Boris Johnson after losing early election vote:

2) Image from thread This cub is about to learn a valuable lesson:

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